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Month: December 2017

Talk Radio a Mixed Bag These Days

(Updated to include a paragraph that was inadvertently left out.)

I’ve been a news radio and talk radio listener for decades. Sadly, the quality of talk radio has declines over the years. I think it really reflects the general decline of our culture as well as the decline in education and intellectual inquiry.

For instance, on Salem Radio there is this new one, former Congressman Joe Walsh, who sounds a lot like Oliver North, but with a Fonzie aspect to his talking. Now, he’s really good on the freedom of speech issue. With the baker who doesn’t want to bake or design a cake for a lesbian couple. I’ll bet that many conservatives wouldn’t want to see the First Amendment as protecting the atheist baker who doesn’t want to bake a cake for a Christian couple. But Walsh indicated that he would be for that kind of freedom of speech and freedom of association. The issue is the control that business owners have over their own business that is their own property.

And Walsh has also been good on due process and presumption of innocence, such as with the accusations against celebrities and politicians of groping and other acts of intrusiveness. I’ve actually been impressed that there’s one “conservative” who gets these things.

But then Walsh goes off into loony land with the anti-immigration stuff, as well as the national security state worship and police worship. Oh, well. After speaking intelligently he then unfortunately turns simple-minded and neanderthal, “Build that Wall!!” and all that. But he also yells too much, like every other sentence is yelling, certainly a lot more than Michael Savage, the former winner of “Yelling Too Much on the Radio” contests.

And Dennis Prager, also on Salem Radio, that I’ve described as extremely authoritarian. For instance, Prager has said that to be moral or have morality you need to have faith in God or believe in God, and so on. Huh? I think that Prager’s idea of belief in God is an authoritarian one, a worship thing like with obedience. Well, I’ve been moral, certainly not immoral. I’ve never harmed anyone or violated anyone’s person or property. But I don’t exactly worship anyone or anything, and I’m not big on obedience.

On the belief in God thing, I do believe that we were created, but by whom I have no idea. I don’t believe in the kind of spiritual being that many people seem to believe in that I’ve heard as a common description of God. (And also, is “God” his first or last name? If it’s his first name, then isn’t a show of disrespect to refer to someone like that by his first name? Should he be “Mr. God”? Or Ms. God, quite frankly.) As far as God being a spiritual being and not a physical being, then how could he have created us and everything else as a spiritual being, without hands and arms? Are you saying that God created us and stuff on Earth by just his will? Like he has magical powers? I guess many people believe that God has magical powers, so we’re talking about more of a mythological figure, which is why it sounds a little too unbelievable to me. I do believe that we were created, but by actual physical beings. And I don’t know if they are particularly “good” beings (as opposed to “sadistic”), but who knows.

Another example of Prager’s extreme authoritarianism is his saying that children don’t or can’t have “wisdom.” He’s very contemptuous of children, in my view. On talk radio a long time ago, there was one talk host during the 1980s who told of his little girl who said something like, “Daddy, if you love me you’ll stop smoking.” And that’s what got him to stop smoking. So, the little kid was “wise” in that she could see that her daddy’s smoking could lead to an early death, and she didn’t want to deal with that.

I think that Prager thinks that children shouldn’t be taken seriously and they should just be obedient and do what they’re told. And not think for themselves. I guess he hasn’t read very much Alice Miller. That’s why many of those kids grow up to be obedient sheeple and believe what the gubmint tells them, and so on.

Do I agree with Prager on anything? I certainly agree with him on his anti-political correctness stuff, anti-college craziness, and anti-censorship, that’s for sure.

Speaking of obedient, authoritarian sheeple, also on Salem Radio there are Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved, two believers in the authoritarian State. Those two don’t seem to like it when people try to expose the corruption of the national security state. In fact, I heard Hewitt say there is no “deep state.” Medved has stated that he believes the “lone gunman” narrative, that Lee Harvey Oswald is the only one who shot JFK. Not sure what Hewitt thinks about that. (He probably agrees with Medved on that.) But interestingly, both Hewitt and Medved have spoken with quite egalitarian tones as well. I know I’ve heard both speak about the rich should pay their fair share in taxes, very “from each according to his means to each according to his needs” kind of rhetoric. They tend to tut-tut any suggestion that income taxation is theft and that it needs to be abolished. I wonder if there’s a relationship there, between the authoritarian State worship and egalitarianism. Hmm.

But I agree with Hewitt on his anti-bureaucracy stuff, such as with the EPA and FCC. However, he is not for totally abolishing the EPA, the FCC et al., just getting “the right people to be in charge of them,” etc. So, he’s not entirely anti-bureaucracy.

And then there are Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, not on Salem Radio. I’ve been listening to them more recently because they are doing a good job in detailing the corruption in the Robert Mueller kangaroo “investigation” regarding “Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election,” and detailing how that not only wasn’t the case but that the Hillary Rotten campaign was the one that was in collusion with Russians to manipulate the election, and so on. So they are good with that stuff and being anti-ObamaCare. But then like Joe Walsh they go all collectivist and anti-private property with their anti-immigration stuff and “Build That Wall” crapola, as well as their worship of the U.S. military and whitewashing all the death and destruction overseas that such a belligerent hostile group has caused in the past 50 to 75 years.

Unfortunately, it seems that all of the above are bloodthirsty militarists who defend our government’s atrocities. Dennis Prager, who preaches morality, defends the wars, including the Vietnam War as I’ve heard him state several times now. 58,000 Americans dead for no good reason. He and others say that the war was to prevent the spread of communism. Because communism is a bad thing, Prager says. Well, Vietnam then became a united communist Vietnam, after 58,000 Americans dead, a million civilians over there, dead. And Iraq? The two George Bushes sent U.S. military to invade and bomb Iraq, impose sanctions, and invade Afghanistan and more. More millions dead, poisoned, crippled, their countries destroyed. And Trump’s CIA continues to bomb those areas with drones, targeting civilian wedding parties and funerals and rescuers, killing mostly innocent civilians. Not a peep from the Salem Radio personalities, the ones who preach morality.

But none of these people have anything on the Greats of talk radio of the old days, such as Jerry Williams. I still think that overall talk radio has declined in the past 20 years. There aren’t enough anti-authoritarian, anti-war, anti-State people in talk radio anymore.

Gay Wedding Cakes at the Supreme Court

Well, the “gay wedding cake issue” is in the news again, as the Supreme Bureaucrats have heard the case of the Colorado baker who for religious reasons refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding.

This “gay civil rights” and “transgender civil rights” stuff these days shows that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has obviously expanded beyond its intention, which was to outlaw “Jim Crow” laws and forbid governments, bureaucrats and government-run functions from discriminating against people based on race, religious beliefs, and sex.

Now “civil rights” means allowing people to enslave others to serve them, involuntarily. It is beyond mere trespassing and extortion.

The problem with that Civil Rights Act is that it didn’t just apply to government-run functions (such as schools, parks, city buses, etc.) and public property, but it also applied to private property as well, privately-owned property, whether businesses or functions otherwise known as “public accommodations.”

I can see why by 1964 the separation between public and private property had been blurred, given how the 1913 income tax allowed the federal government to seize private wealth and order the people to have to report their income, their wages and earnings to the bureaucrats. Such “private” property had thus become the property of the State by its own decree. After that point, anything is fair game now. Anyone can use the armed force of government to steal and plunder the income, earnings and savings of one’s neighbors, or live off the work and productivity of others without their voluntary consent.

And obviously the Social Security system which started in the 1930s and Medicare and Medicaid of the 1960s pretty much sealed that. With the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s usurpation of private property now known as “public accommodations,” anyone can sue anyone else for “refusal of service” (or refusal to allow trespass) for any reason. Anyone can forcibly compel private property owners to serve them, let them in or on their property, or associate with them, involuntarily.

And private property is private property, by the way. It is privately owned. And our bodies are our own private property, including the labor we expend. We have the right to decide how we arrange the products of our labor, whom to do business with, etc.

And also it doesn’t matter how big the property or business is, how much of an income the businesspeople have. Private property is no less privately owned (and thus no more publicly owned) the bigger it is or the larger the income the owners have.

And so the idea of freedom of thought and conscience or religious beliefs isn’t really relevant here. The baker and his legal team in the “gay wedding cake” case are using the wrong arguments.

Their arguments should be based on private property rights and freedom of association.

Either private property owners are the owners of their own private property, including their businesses, their homes, churches, schools, etc., or they share in ownership of those things with others, with the community, the government, and so on. It’s either one or the other.

So either A has a right to force B to do extra labor to serve A or associate with A involuntarily, or B has a right to not serve or associate with A for ANY reason.

Those are the two choices: freedom or compulsory association. There is no in-between, there is no “grey area.”

It doesn’t matter if someone is “racist,” anti-homosexual, anti-transgender, whatever. The prospective consumer can easily find someone else who will be of service. In most of these recent “civil rights” cases, the prospective customers who were turned away were easily able to find someone else to serve them. But, being social activists, they sued the bakers, photographers, florists, mainly to punish those people for their views, and extort money from them as well.

But regarding “civil rights,” when we go beyond the areas of race and religious belief, and into the areas of lifestyle choices, those who don’t want to associate with others, based on lifestyle differences, have a right to exercise their freedom of thought and conscience on their own private property. The business owner’s own business is one’s own private property, it is not owned or co-owned by the community or by the government.

For these reasons, it is necessary to either repeal the entire Civil Rights Act of 1964, or amend it to only apply to government-run functions or public property but not apply to private property.

On this current Supreme Court case, I don’t expect any renewed respect for private property rights. And if the Supreme Bureaucrats do rule in favor of the baker, it will be based on “religious liberty,” although there may still be a superficial mention of “private property” in some way. (Would they rule in favor of atheist bakers who refuse to serve a Christian couple? Many conservatives, including the ones on Salem Radio who don’t understand private property, would probably say no on that. Hey, “religious liberty” and all that. )

The rulers and their judicial bureaucrats know that if we restore private property rights, we will then have to go after all “civil rights” laws, all income tax-thefts imposed by governments and all programs of forced redistribution including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Abuse Victims Going Public: Now Hitting the Classical Music Business

Since my commentary on Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Al Franken, Bill Clinton et al., now we are hearing about the world-renowned opera and symphony conductor James Levine, with three adult males now coming forward to accuse Levine, 74, of sexual misconduct toward or with them when they were teenagers (and possibly pre-teens).

Now, I’ve been a classical music listener for decades and decades. Not particularly opera but definitely symphony orchestra music. Rumors of James Levine spending too much time with young male musicians including boys and of possible child molestation have been around for decades. So, I am not surprised to hear these most recent allegations.

The descriptions of the alleged sicko abuses are really gross.

According to this New York Post article, “The alleged victim said that Levine first fondled his penis when he was around 16 years old. He said the alleged encounter happened at the Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest, Ill., 10 miles from the Ravinia Festival…Levine would masturbate in the bed or in the bathroom, the alleged victim told police….In 1987, he said the alleged abuse escalated and Levine ‘put his finger in my anus,’ according to the report…’Levine was not a person you ever said no to,’ he told police.”

How disgusting! The police report was filed just last year.

The Metropolitan Opera of New York, of which Levine was music director for 40 years and associated with for 46 years, has suspended Levine and cancelled his scheduled appearances based on the allegations, according to the New York Times. The Times noted that the alleged violations go back to 1968, and named the first accuser who was not named in the Post article, and named the other two accusers. I am not naming the accusers here.

According to the Times, one accuser, “who played principal bass in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for more than three decades, said that Mr. Levine masturbated him that summer — and then coaxed him to reciprocate — when [he] was 17 at the Meadow Brook School of Music in Michigan. Mr. Levine, then 25, was a rising star on the summer program’s faculty. [Another accuser] said that Mr. Levine also masturbated him there that summer when [he] was 17 and a cello student — the first of many sexual encounters with Mr. Levine that have haunted him. And [the first accuser referred to in the Post article] who grew up in Illinois near the Ravinia Festival, where Mr. Levine was music director, said that he was sexually abused by Mr. Levine starting in the summer of 1986, when [he] was 16…”

According to the Times article the 66-year-old accuser said he decided to come forward because of all the news of famous people being accused of sexual misconduct.

While the rumors of James Levine’s alleged extra-musical divertimentos have been around for decades, the British music critic Norman Lebrecht has emphasized the importance of presumption of innocence for Levine on Lebrecht’s blog, “Slippedisc.com.” One commenter on that post pointed out Lebrecht’s 1997 book, Who Killed Classical Music?: Maestros, Managers, and Corporate Politics, in which Lebrecht wrote, “[James] Levine’s foes were murmerous, among them some board members who barely suppressed their outrage at extra-mural activities that, according to TIME magazine, involved ‘liaisons with people of every age and hue.’”

In another post, Lebrecht wrote, “A couple of decades back, when the Verbier Festival named James Levine as music director of its youth orchestra, I asked the festival’s founder, Martin Engstroem, if he shared the awareness in music circles that Levine had a predilection for teenaged boys. Engstroem replied that he had known Levine for years, and that precautions would be taken to safeguard orchestra members. No Verbier incident has ever come to light.”

But if those above descriptions by alleged victims mentioned above from the New York Times and New York Post are really true, I want to know exactly what the hell is going on with James Levine, for crissakes? Who the hell does those things, and with little boys or teenage boys (or girls)? Like with Bill Cosby, I mean, Cosby has admitted to drugging up women and then having sex with them, like while they’re unconscious? Who the hell would DO that? Wait a minute, now as I’m googling I’m learning that Cosby admitted to also doing those things with teenagers. Doh! What the hell is going on with these people?! They’re very sick people, in my view.

But in the Lebrecht posts on James Levine including in the comments, it is becoming clear that the people at the Metropolitan Opera and Boston Symphony Orchestra, and several other musical organizations Levine has been a part of, probably had knowledge of Levine’s alleged behaviors off stage, but they swept it all under the rug. It sounds very much like what we are now hearing about in the show-biz industry with Harvey Weinstein, in the TV news business with Matt Lauer et al., and in politics. Well, politics, the very nature of politics is dirtiness, corruption, invasiveness, criminality, etc. etc. I guess show-biz and news “journalism” is very much like politics. It’s all very sleazy, it seems.

With the Bill O’Reillys, the Charlie Roses, the Matt Lauers and the Harvey Weinsteins, and their abuses and assaults toward women, it seems as though some people are just extremely narcissistic and believe that their attractions toward others are automatically reciprocal. But with the child molesters (whether or not that includes James Levine, we’ll hear a denial or admission soon, I hope), there’s something really sick going on with those people, very disturbed people.

The behaviors of the womanizing degenerates are very “inappropriate,” whether on a date or (but especially) in the workplace. But when someone gets sexual or in an unclothed manner with a child (and when it’s a grown adult doing something with a teenager, I call that a “child” in relation to the grown adult), it is violating and invasive, and exploitative as well. The child molesters out there should know the kind of negative, haunting effects that go on for years within the victims, as noted by some of the victims in those articles above. Those violators are real criminals, in my view.

Have there always been this many degenerates among the general population, though?

UPDATE, 12/10/17: James Levine has issued the following statement of denial, according to the New York Times:

“As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded,” he said in a written statement. “As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor.”

Mr. Levine made it clear in his statement that he hopes to resume conducting.

“I have devoted my energies to the development, growth, and nurturing of music and musicians all over the world — particularly with the Metropolitan Opera where my work has been the lifeblood and passion of my artistic imagination,” he said in the statement. “My fervent hope is that in time people will come to understand the truth, and I will be able to continue my work with full concentration and inspiration.”

The Times continued:

“He is lying,” (one accuser) said of Mr. Levine’s statement in an email. “The examples of instigating sex with a minor, physical abuse using physical pain leading to break down crying, all happened. I will take a lie-detector test. Will he?”

(The accuser) said that he was a 17-year-old cello student at Meadow Brook when he was abused in Mr. Levine’s dorm room. He described numerous later incidents of abuse; he said that once Mr. Levine had pinched him painfully until he cried, and then continued pinching him, to wound him.

And (another accuser), 66, who played principal bass in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for more than three decades, stood by his account that Mr. Levine had abused him the summer before his senior year in high school, when he was 17.

“Sexual abuse at any age is inexcusable,” he said. “Further, belittling those of us who were abused as less than fully human is repugnant. I stand by the story.”

Your Tax Dollars At Work in USSA Amerika

In yesterday’s post I stated that if I were in Congress I wouldn’t vote for any tax bill, including a tax cut that was really a tax cut for everybody, period (with no special favors for this special interest or that special interest, etc.). But ANY tax bill that doesn’t repeal the income tax and abolish the IRS is a tax bill that endorses government stealing of private wealth, and promotes institutionalized theft. “Tax cut” bills are still theft bills. So, that’s my view on that.

And regarding the current legislative crap that was just passed by the Senate, the “Here’s Your Tax ‘Cut,’ Suckers!” bill (that the shyster Rethuglicans, the “Tea Partiers,” the “Conservative” Carcass in the House will make compromises with, of course), Robert Wenzel posts a list of some of the crony deals in the Senate’s tax bill. Yech.

And David Stockman has some more analysis on that. Stockman was the Reagan Administration’s budget director. He wrote: “Technically, you might call that a ‘tax cut’ because it does involve a tiny minus sign. But it is also undoubtedly the smallest, not the biggest, individual tax cut in history; and given the facts essayed above, it will not move the needle one single bit when it comes to the issue of growth, jobs and revenue reflows.”

And Stockman concludes: “At the end of the day, the GOP tax bill boils down to borrowing more than $1 trillion from the American public in order to pay higher dividends to wealthy private stockholders. And that’s a real con job.”

Speaking of con jobs and crony deals, I also wanted to follow-up on my recent post on Elizabeth Warren’s “Consumer Financial Protection” (sic) Bureaucracy. Just a few days ago, Rush Limbaugh was referring to the Bureau as a “money-laundering” racket for liberals and Democrats for their further shake-downs of the U.S. workers and producers. I’m glad Limbaugh provides transcripts of his show online.

Rush Limbaugh said, “What this organization did was launder money. It was nothing more than a money-laundering scheme. And it had another purpose. The fines that it levied for anti-consumer policies and anti-consumer behavior at these banks, what do you think they did with the money? The CFPB was a pass-through, and the fine money was given to Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women, or take your pick of any left-wing activist group.

“This was an independent agency set up to be able to legally get money from the financial industry and then turn around and give it to left-wing activist groups. And that’s what they were doing with it. And that’s why they are so desperate to hold on to it.”

Now, does Limbaugh have actual proof of this?

So in my searching for info on that, I did manage to see in this Examiner article that CFPB executives and workers gave 593 donations to Democrooks to 1 donations to a Rethuglican. (When the truth is, neither Party deserves donations!)

And this Federalist article states that

The agency was then stacked with partisan ideologues and allowed to conceive its own arbitrary and wide-ranging rules to go after any practice it found “abusive,” “unfair,” or “deceptive.” The CFPB was sanctioned to “administer, enforce, and otherwise implement federal consumer financial laws, which includes the power to make rules, issue orders, and issue guidance” without any genuine due process. It could then mete out penalties of its choosing.

According to Paul Sperry of the New York Post, regarding the fight between former CFPB director Richard Cordray’s personal pick of Leandra English to be his temporary replacement and Trump’s pick of Mick Mulvaney, Sperry wrote:

So who’s funding this extraordinary legal battle with the White House? English’s lead attorney, Deepak Gupta, refuses to say.

All he’d disclose is that they had set up a “structure” similar to a “legal defense fund” to cover his fees, but he wouldn’t name any of the donors contributing to the fund.

Hmm. Anonymous donors. Mysterious funding. Shady network of outside groups…

Gupta worked directly under Warren, who was tapped by Obama to set up the CFPB in 2011 and who is now publicly backing English’s claim to control the bureau. Before founding his law firm in 2012, Gupta served as CFPB’s senior litigation counsel and senior counsel for enforcement strategy.

Gupta sits on the board of several left-wing groups. Warren worked directly with Americans for Financial Reform, a cabal of anti-Wall Street progressives, to help draft the legislation that created the CFPB.

The agency — whose apparatchiks have given nearly all donations to Democrats — forces financial institutions it prosecutes to donate to third-party community organizers. Penalties in such cases are deposited into the bureau’s now-$170 million-plus Civil Penalty Fund, which has, in turn, channeled almost $30 million to “consumer advocacy” groups.

Which groups? The agency won’t say. The fund has avoided independent audit.

This is the fiefdom Democrats are hypocritically protecting with their own dark money.

So I think we can connect the dots. And not only is it the Democrooks who love these huge thieving bureaucracies to shake down Americans to fund far-left social advocacy groups, but as we can see from the phony-baloney tax-“cut” bill, those damn Rethuglicans also love Big Government, just can’t let go of their own little fiefdoms and their powers to legally steal from innocent people and live high off the hog at the expense of the actual workers and producers of society.

I Don’t Support Current Tax “Reform” Proposals

I don’t support the tax “reform” bills that are going through the U.S. House and Senate right now. Some of the proposals remove the state and local tax deduction, and remove other deductions as well. Some middle-class taxpayers may be unfortunate to find themselves moved up to a higher tax bracket in the new 3- or 4-bracket scheme (whatever it is now), rather than moved down to the lower tax bracket, depending on what their income level is. Not only that, but the individual tax cuts will only be temporary, even though the corporate tax cuts are permanent, supposedly. And some people are saying “well how will we pay for the cuts because of the trillion-dollar deficit they will cause?” Nobody except for a few people in Washington is suggesting “cutting spending”! It’s all central planning scheming crap, as usual.

Now, if I were in Congress right now, I would not vote for these bills, or any tax proposals, even if they were permanent tax cuts across the board and without changing the brackets or removing deductions. I know, Laurence Vance and others say that any cuts in taxes or keeping deductions is a good thing.

However, what these tax cut bills are saying is: “We will keep the IRS and continue to take some of your income whether you agree to it or not. We will just take a little less from you — well, some of you, anyway — to make things a little easier for you. Temporarily. (Until we cause the whole economy to collapse like the Soviet Union while spending like drunken sailors in our enslavement of you, the ‘taxpayers’ and your hard labor to serve us, etc., etc., etc.”)

So these tax bills are continuing to empower the government to steal the people’s money, and continue to force the people to have to report their private financial, employment and business matters to the government (violating their 1st, 4th and 5th Amendment rights), information that bureaucrats have no authority to demand. And the stealing (which is the government demanding that you pay them a portion of your earnings involuntarily) is criminal. Generations of people have rationalized such criminality, especially since 1913.

So, if a tax bill proposes to abolish the income tax and the IRS and that’s it, then I would probably support that bill. “But how will we pay for all our important government programs?” Actually, most of what the federal government does in unconstitutional, because it is not authorized by the U.S. Constitution, and most of what the federal government does is also immoral and criminal. Everything from invading countries overseas that were of no threat to us and occupying and trespassing on foreign territories and bombing and murdering innocent people and causing blowback, to arresting innocent people for having or buying a government-disapproved plant, to funding baby-killing and all the rest.

If those who support all those things that government gets involved with think it’s all worthy then let them pay for it from their own pockets, voluntarily. Cutting off the Washington-Soviet parasites’ funding is the only way to restore a free society and avoid a full Soviet-like collapse.